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Digital crunches its numbers

After posting a sizable fourth-quarter loss last month, Digital is scheduled to give analysts the low-down on its financial situation at a briefing in New York.

After posting a sizable fourth-quarter loss last month, Digital Equipment (DEC) is scheduled to give analysts the low-down on its financial situation today at a briefing in New York.

Digital is expected to cast a positive outlook as executives discuss their goal of reaching operating profits of 6 percent to 7 percent of revenues and their vision for the future, according to Reuters news service. Analysts expect Digital to focus on such areas as its Alpha chip used by servers running Microsoft's Windows NT software, plans to spin off its Alta Vista Internet unit and growth in semiconductors.

But the consensus on Wall Street is that Digital is expected to post a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, according to First Call, a firm that tracks earnings estimates. Digital reported a $433 milllion loss in the fourth quarter after taking a restructuring charge of $492 million for workforce reductions and plant closurers.

The meeting, which began late this morning, is expected to wrap up by 3 p.m. PT, company officials said.